Music Performance


To provide a program in the area of practice-based research in music leading to research outcomes in the form of music performance and critical exegesis related to the performance. The purpose of the performance is to realise the primary research activity; the performance is the outcome of the practice-based research. The purpose of the exegesis is to provide the scholarly context and framework by which to fully understand the performance as a research outcome.


Graduates in BMus and MPhil programs specialising in performance from most institutions both nationally and internationally find themselves in a highly competitive market for significant work in the profession. These programs add a significant edge in terms of performance training, standards and opportunities as well as providing valuable research training which can broaden the scope of future employment prospects.

Structure and Thesis Format

The program is assessed by two externally appointed examiners who assess both the final performance (duration 60-70 minutes for MPhil candidates, 75-90 minutes for PhD candidates) and associated critical exegesis (maximum 15,000 words for MPhil candidates and 30,000 words for PhD candidates).

The performance is also required to be accompanied by scholarly program notes (maximum 3,000 words MPhil candidates and 5,000 words PhD candidates) which are also assessed by the examiners.

During the program, candidates undertake coursework designed to support their performance preparation. This coursework forms part of the internal progression requirements of the program in includes practical examinations in the form of recitals.

Candidates in the PhD are required to give a lecture-recital which also forms part of the internal progression requirements.

Students who commenced their research higher degree in 2014 or earlier have until 31 December 2017 to graduate under the rules for the pre-2015 music performance thesis format.